I’ve been involved in triathlon since 2006 but my evolution into a triathlete started a few years before.
In 2003 I found myself overweight and unhappy with the way I felt and looked. I decided that I was tired
of buying larger clothes to keep up with my weight gain, so, in an attempt to get back in shape, I decided
to attempt a local 5k, the Turkey Lurkey Trail Run in Indiana. Even though I had to walk most of it, I
finished the event and I was hooked. My new goal became running an entire 5k without walking.
Within months I had completed the goal and had moved up to longer distances.
In the 2004-2005 time period, in addition to running, I began mountain biking and really fell in love with
the sport. I began road biking as a way to stay in shape for mountain biking, but quickly realized that I
loved road cycling as well. It was late in 2005 that one of my close friends convinced me to attempt a
triathlon. This was a daunting task for a 40 year-old guy like me, because I didn’t know how to swim!
But I was determined to learn. I still tell people today that it amazes how something like swimming can
look so easy, but be so darn hard! The first several triathlons I did were sprints and I think I breast-
stroked the entire swim. Even so, I quickly realized that triathlon was the sport for me and I began to
attempt longer distances.
In 2008 (several swim coaches later) I attempted my first 70.3 distance race: Steelhead 70.3 in Michigan.
The two things I remember most about crossing the finish line that day was: first, it was the hardest
thing I’ve ever done in my life and second, I couldn’t imagine doing all of that stuff twice (a full Ironman).
Nevertheless, within a few months, I began to get the itch to try a full distance Ironman. In August of
2009, I crossed the finish line at Ironman Louisville in Kentucky. The feeling of crossing that finish line
was nothing short of euphoria and I was instantly hooked on the distance.
In addition to various shorter distance triathlons, I’ve done at least one or two full-distance Ironman
races per year since 2009. This past year I completed my 13th full Ironman in Santa Rosa, CA. Along the
way, I’ve had races in which I’ve done incredibly well (for me) and I’ve had races in which I wasn’t even
sure I would finish. But no matter what, the feeling of crossing that finish line is hard to beat. And I’ve
found that the year-long journey to each finish line is (almost) as rewarding as the finish itself. I’m a
different person now, with different goals and a completely different lifestyle than when I started this
journey in 2003. And most importantly, I like who I’ve become.
I moved to Scottsdale, AZ in May 2017 after having spent 15 years in Indiana. I found Tri Scottsdale in
June of that year, when I met another Tri Scottsdale team member while out riding my bike in North
Scottsdale. He put me in touch with Preston Miller and I officially joined the team. I had been a
member of a tri club in Indiana for quite a few years before I moved to Scottsdale. But the experience
with those teams was nothing like what I’ve had with Tri Scottsdale. From hard group rides and runs, to
social gatherings over coffee, to screaming for friends at local triathlons, this team offers more than any
tri group I’ve ever been involved with. I hope that every one of our members knows just how lucky we
are to have a club like this!